Tiny House Being Built at Parkway West
Parkway West Career & Technology Center in Robinson Township, Pa. received a grant last summer to cover the cost of building materials, blueprints, and a trailer for a tiny house that their students would be hands-on in building. Mr. Kevin Lewis, teacher and instructor, reached out to our team to order the building materials for the tiny house. Doug Fritsch, Director of Web & Package Sales for 84 Lumber, has been actively involved in helping Mr. Lewis get everything prepared for the students and answer any questions that may arise over the course of the build.
We were able to visit the school and interview Mr. Lewis, and a couple students to gain some insight on the benefits of buying a tiny house for the students to build. The students at Parkway West go through 9-week programs where they learn about building/construction, welding, electrical, and HVAC. The tiny house will be built over 2 years, so the students will be able to work on both the inside and outside of the tiny house. They are learning about finishing materials, metal roofing, attention to detail, and much more. When asked about what they like most about having this opportunity was a response that came fast and was simple, they are able to be hands-on with what they are learning and it enables them to build confidence in their craft.
One student said that he was asked to help his uncle close in their porch over the summer time because he knew that he was not only going to be able to help but that he would do a good job. The students shared with us that the most challenging part of the build for them is framing and building the roof—on the other hand their favorite part of the build is being able to climb on top of the roof and then “looking back at what we built”.
Giving the students the ability to learn through a hands-on experience is so crucial in the trades because as soon as the leave high school most will be going straight into their field. Mr. Lewis also helps to prepare his students to be interview-ready by dedicating class time to teach the students how to be professional and what they need to wear when they go to an interview. It is meaningful to us as a company to be able to offer these tiny homes to not only home owners, but to be used as a teaching tool to build up the skills in trade. Prior to working on this tiny house in class the students have known about 84 Lumber and they said that they have purchased materials from their local lumber yard. We hope to continue to develop great professional relationships with trade schools across America to help give our youth the knowledge and skills to continue building America.